They initiate discussions with younger students about the value of technological education and different pathways to their success in the future. They are the ones that ignite their interest in hands-on exploratory activities through experiential education. They use differentiated instruction and student-centred learning pedagogic methods to inspire exploration. In addition to OCTE, they belong to a variety of professional teaching organizations like STAO (Science Teachers Association of Ontario), and successfully blend technology, science, and design for the benefit of their school classrooms.
Many Ontarions have fond memories of their first experiences in 'home economics' and 'industrial arts.' It may have been their first time cooking, sewing, planning a meal, cutting a board, or using a drill and hammer. They proudly carried home what they had made after being pleasantly surprised at how they were good at using their hands. We like to say that a tradesperson uses their hands, a craftsperson uses their hands and head, and an artist uses their hands, head, and heart. We believe there is room in Ontario's education system for every kind of learner with multiple intelligences and varied strengths and challenges. OCTE is committed to helping develop technacy in our kids alongside numeracy and literacy to better prepare them for a bright future.
OCTE is committed to ensuring that discussions about the value of tech education start at the elementary level in order to change the traditional academic-minded view of many teachers, parents, administrators, and school communities. We have already made many inroads with Ontario Skills Competitions at the elementary level and school boards developing strategies to ensure Centers of Innovation are supported. Our goal is an education system that combines technological skills, digital integration with sophisticated systems, and good old-fashioned learning.
For more information on how to get involved with OCTE's elementary panel, contact octeelementary (at) octe.ca.